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10 Celebrities Who Raise Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis

By Daryl H. Bryant (835 words)
Posted in Living with MS on July 11, 2014

There are (10) comments permalink

10 Celebrities Who Raise Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative disease that attacks the body’s central nervous system. Its symptoms vary across patients, causing chronic pain, numbness, and difficulty walking and seeing. Without a cure, those diagnosed with the disease have to make many lifestyle changes in order to accommodate and manage their symptoms. Living with MS is not easy, but many patients, including celebrities, use their diagnoses to raise awareness and help one another manage symptoms. Many celebrities with MS use their fame and fortune to fund cure campaigns and inspire other patients to continue living and pursue their dreams despite their diagnoses.

Michaele Salahi

As one of the Real Housewives of DC, Michaele shows patients with MS that their lives don’t have to be anything less than extraordinary after she crashed a dinner party at the White House in 2009. Although she kept her MS a secret for 17 years, she now uses her infamous fame to raise awareness.

Montel Williams

After learning that he had MS, Montel Williams - a television personality and radio talk show host - opened a foundation focused on funding MS research and finding a cure. He often discussed the disease and his symptoms on television, starting a discussion and raising awareness among patients and their families.

Clay Walker

Country music star Clay Walker has become an advocate for a cure. At the beginning of his diagnosis he was unable to feel or use his right arm or right leg. After treatments, he regained the use of his limbs and now, 15 years later, he continues to raise awareness of the disease and works with children who suffer from MS, AIDS, and HIV.

Teri Garr

As an actress known for her role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Teri has also used her fame to raise awareness by appearing on numerous talk shows to discuss her symptoms. She lived with her symptoms for over a decade before being diagnosed with MS, and hearing her discuss her symptoms in public has helped many other patients realize their disease and receive help.

Trevor Bayne

A Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis did not slow Trevor down. He went on to win the Daytona 500 in 2011 and continues to be one of the youngest racers competing at that level. His achievements act as a testament to everyone with the disease that a healthy, comfortable lifestyle is possible. He has toured the country spreading awareness for the MS community.

Victoria Williams

As the head of the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, singer-songwriter Victoria Williams uses music to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. She focuses on medication, treatments, and finding a cure for MS and many other diseases. She used her music to pay for her own medical bills when she was first diagnosed, and continues to use her success as a means to help other patients.

Annette Funicello

As one of the original Mouseketeers in the Mickey Mouse Club, Annette went public with her diagnosis in the early 90s. There were rumors that her difficulty walking was caused by alcoholism, and Annette went public with her MS to clear up these stories and raise awareness for the extensive range of symptoms Multiple Sclerosis can cause. In 1993 she opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders to help find a cure for MS and many other neurological diseases.

Jack Osbourne

Son of famous rocker Ozzy, Jack was diagnosed with MS after he lost sight in his right eye. He advocates for the use of holistic therapies when it comes to the treatment of his MS. His positivity acts as a motivational tool for other patients, and he consistently updates his Twitter and other social media outlets with his on-going progress and achievements.

Richard Cohen

Author and journalist Richard Cohen was diagnosed with MS when he was 25. Both his father and his grandfather suffered from the disease. Presently, his symptoms have worsened due to the effects of secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis. His experiences have built awareness around the genetic influence and on-going effects the disease has on an aging body and has led to many developments toward a cure.

Ann Romney

As wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Ann did not let her diagnosis slow her down on the campaign trail. She openly discussed her diagnosis and her symptoms in each city her and her husband visited. Today, she is an advocate for animal therapy as a way to manage symptoms. She is particularly fond of horse therapy and boasts that it has helped her overcome the fatigue and pain caused by her MS.

A diagnosis is not an automatic limitation. These celebrities with MS use their fame to not only raise awareness but also prove that a healthy, robust lifestyle is possible. Most patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis effectively manage their symptoms and live their lives to the fullest without fame and fortune. These celebrities simply use their place in the spotlight to emphasize that success is possible while living with MS.

Comments (10)

Christine posted on: July 17, 2014

You missed drummer of the Canadian band Billy Talent, Aaron Solowoniuk. Despite his diagnosis he continues to drum with his band and is a regular contributor and spokesperson for the MS support site for youth Diagnosed in 1998 with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, Aaron has supported young Canadians living with MS by raising funds and building awareness through his involvement in art shows, golf tournaments and rock concerts around the world.

Melany posted on: July 17, 2014

Neil Cavuto, news anchor, business and finance, for Fox news

Monika Meredith posted on: July 17, 2014

you also forgot Shemar Moore, his motheir has ME and he has raised thousands of dollars for the MS Society and has an apparel line called Baby Girl where part of proceeds go to MS research, plus he participates in Bike MS....Can you tell I love the man?

Vickie Martin posted on: July 17, 2014

It is easy for some one who has money that can afford GOOD treatment. Some one like myself can't afford good treatment due to not being able to work. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that they can get the needed treatment. I can use a cooling vest but I don't have the money for it. I'm sure there are plenty of MSer's out there who are in the same boat. I would love to be able to do what these people suggest but it is not financially possible. God Bless the ones who can.

Anne Marston posted on: July 17, 2014

Dear Vickie, you can get a free cooling vest from MS Society. You just need to have you Dr. To write a confirmation of your MS status. I called my Neurologist yesterday to request this. Good luck!

Santiago posted on: July 17, 2014

All great people. Vickie the MS Society can connect you to services and places to help get treatment. They are amazing.

Donna Ibach posted on: July 17, 2014

Also- Janet Dean whether girl on Fox n Friends. Oh squiggy from Leverne and Shirley

Vickie Martin posted on: July 18, 2014

Thanks Anne Marston and Santiago for your information. I will check this out. God Bless.

Brendan posted on: July 18, 2014

Just a note to editor, Trevor Bayne wasn't diagnosed till 2013, and I am pretty sure he hasn't raced since being diagnosed while being cleared by doctors to be able to do so. Stating that he won a race is great but it was before having MS, well at least being diagnosed with it. Who knows when you actually get it, till the point of actually showing symptoms

Daryl posted on: July 18, 2014

All - great additions to the list. I only included 10 celebrities on this article, but maybe in the future I will do 25 :)

Brendan - thank you for the note about Trevor!

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